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Destination guides > North America > USA > West Coast > California > Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is billed as a playground for the wealthy and the lack of budget accommodation means that most backpackers just stop for the day en route to somewhere else.

Practical information

Santa Barbara Beachfront Visitors Center

1 Garden Street, Santa Barbara
Tel (805) 965 3021
Open Jan-Jun Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm; Jul-Aug 9am-6pm daily; Sep-Dec Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Coming & going


Greyhound coaches (tel (805) 965 7551) to Los Angeles and San Francisco stop at 34 West Carrillo Street.


Amtrak trains to Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo leave from the station on Lower State Street.

Local transport

The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD; tel (805) 683 3702) runs bus services around the city. Bus fares are $1.25 and a 10-ride ticket is $10.

Hostel accommodation

Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

134 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Tel (805) 963 0154
Read hostel reviews

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

This magnificent Spanish-Moorish style courthouse was built in 1929 featuring exquisite hand-painted ceilings. There are lovely views of Santa Barbara from the clock tower.

1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara
Tel (805) 962 6464
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm; tours Mon 10.30am, 2pm, Tue-Fri 10.30am, Sat 2pm

Mission Santa Barbara

This mission – 1.5km north of the city centre – dates from 1820.

2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara
Tel (805) 682 4713

Admission $4
Open 9am-5pm daily

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

This art museum features works by prominent American and European artists including Marc Chagall, Thomas Eakins, Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe and Pablo Picasso. The exterior features a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros.

1130 State Street, Santa Barbara
Tel (805) 963 4364

Admission $9 ($6 students), free Sun
Open Tue-Sun 11am-5pm

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